One of the amazing privileges we have at Wellspring is seeing how investment in the lives of teachers has a ripple effect far beyond the school walls. As these teachers experience change in their hearts and minds, the impact is seen in remarkable ways – in classrooms, in the lives of students, their families, and even in their wider communities. Every life touched is a life full of value and potential. And every story of transformation is a story that matters. Stories of teachers like Antoine*, and students like Violet* (*names changed), for whom a change of approach in the classroom has led to freedom and renewed hope for the future.
When Wellspring’s Teacher Trainers began working at Gatsata Primary School, they encouraged teachers to think meaningfully about their motivation for teaching, and how they are loving, valuing and instilling values in their students; while also equipping them to discipline children in positive, constructive ways. For one Primary 3 teacher, Antoine, this new perspective brought about radical change in his classroom. One day, having built a positive, trusting relationship with his students, he asked them to reflect on the importance of values in their daily lives – and they began to open up and share. Among the stories shared that day was a devastating confession from Violet, who revealed that she was being regularly abused by a P6 boy. She had been left at home alone, and the boy had moved in and treated her as his “wife.” On that day in class, this young girl found the courage to share with a teacher she could trust, and with a school leadership team who were committed to taking action. School leaders shared the situation with Violet’s father, who committed to returning home to care for his daughter. Together, they ensured that the P6 boy was removed and placed in rehabilitation, and that Violet could receive counseling, while living safely with her father in her own home.
The training Antoine received from Wellspring brought new meaning to his work – but it also allowed a learning environment to be created in which students like Violet can receive a quality education, while being respected, cared for, and protected. Gatsata Primary is only one of the 49 schools in which Wellspring is currently privileged to serve, and for every school, there are many more stories of transformation and hope!